As retailers halted international shipments due to COVID-19, cargo-dedicated airports like Rickenbacker International (LCK) in Columbus, Ohio, had to pivot quickly.
When the freight on shipping routes of Rickenbacker’s retail partners like Gap, Eddie Bauer and Lululemon dried up, a pipeline of charter flights began bringing in personal protective equipment (PPE). LCK was one of the very first airports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency designated to accept relief flights. At the same time, and potentially due to the ubiquitous shift to working from home, LCK also began seeing an uptick in items such as laptops and other electronics arriving in the wake of supply chain disruptions for those goods.
Shippers may not be familiar with the fact that Rickenbacker and the Columbus Region is a well-oiled logistics hub, but transportation providers and airfreight forwarders are becoming increasingly aware of this. It is also important to note that no air or ocean shipment is completed without trucking. The geography of Columbus itself makes it an ideal distribution point for reaching the majority of Americans and Canadians. In one day, a truck can deliver freight to half of the U.S. and one-third of the Canadian populations, as well as companies representing half of U.S. manufacturing capacity.
Rickenbacker has been averaging 30 flights